COVID-19 – How Safe is it to Travel?

Global air travel witnessed a 94% drop in April 2020 as compared to April 2019. By the month of May, countries across the world were under total lockdown while a complete ban was placed on international as well as domestic travel.

Now that we are several months into this coronavirus pandemic, many countries have already started lifting travel restrictions in the hope to reopen the economy and get back to the normal ways of life. However, this begs the question…

Should you travel during Covid-19?

Well, according to most medical experts, you should ideally avoid any kind of non-essential travel. They have also suggested that people above the age of 60 or those with underlying medical conditions should only travel if it’s highly necessary/unavoidable.

This is because you are more likely to end up in crowded places where it is difficult to follow social distancing. Also, in the past few weeks, most states and countries have reported a rise in the number of positive coronavirus cases. Even though the mortality rate of Covid-19 is comparatively lower than other pandemics, the rate at which it spreads is much higher.

This is why governments and other medical experts have been reluctant to lift the lockdown entirely. However, countries are now looking at ways to slowly restart the economy and are even allowing most businesses to operate with proper safety measures.

Re-opening during Covid-19

Some countries have allowed restaurants and other hotels to stay open considering that they follow proper precautions against coronavirus. Others are even opening up international borders to allow tourists from a small number of countries.

For example, India is planning to resume international flights by creating air corridors or “air bubbles” with France, the US, and Germany. Thailand and Sri Lanka have also decided to slowly reopen their tourism sector for small groups of visitors.

On the other hand, the European Union (EU) opened its borders to tourists from a select few countries like Canada, Australia, and South Korea.

While these countries are slowly allowing international travel, they are also lifting restrictions on domestic travel. However, just because some countries are ready to welcome tourists back does not mean that these countries are free from the virus.

And the question that still remains is…

How safe is it to travel during Covid-19?

Your level of safety depends on several factors such as your mode of travel, your destination, and much more. While there are certain things that you must carry while traveling during Covid-19, you should be aware of how crowded the place would be and what kind of safety protocols are in place.

Also, according to recent studies, there is a lower chance of the virus spreading in airplanes due to the air filter system. However, traveling by airplanes also means that you will be in contact with a lot of other passengers which again increases the risk of infection.

In order to minimize contact, some airlines have started offering face masks and face shields for all passengers while flight attendants are required to wear PPE kits. Also, airlines are now regularly disinfecting high-touch points like doorknobs and seat handles.

People are also looking at other options such as traveling by road in a private vehicle or in rental cars. Also, many hotels are now practicing strict cleaning policies and have adopted various innovative ideas to minimize contact. These ideas include virtual check-in and check-out, limited guests, digital transactions, and much more.

However, even with all these safety measures in place, there is no guarantee of being 100% safe while traveling during Covid-19. This is an evolving situation and you must be ready to adapt to any new changes in government guidelines or recommendations.

Since there is no available vaccine for coronavirus, there will always be some amount of risk involved while traveling during this pandemic. In such a scenario, it is recommended to practice social distancing and take required measures to keep yourself safe.

Even though the decision to travel is your personal choice, you need to understand that it involves the safety of others too. And traveling during this pandemic comes down to the level of risk that makes you feel comfortable.

COVID-19 has deeply impacted every aspect of our lifestyle which makes it even more difficult to predict when things might get back to normal. Experts believe that people will slowly adjust to various rules and safety measures while traveling.

And, this will eventually become the new normal.